The Global Impact of Brain Injury

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Two top stories in the news involve brain injury this week…

In America, Randy McCloy, the only surviving miner from West Virginia’s terrible coal mining accident, is alive but in critical condition following an anoxic injury that has affected his brain as well as other organs. Last night, his physician, Dr. Larry Roberts spoke with Larry King about the serious nature of McCloy’s injuries:

“I think what we’re most worried about is his brain recovery. Anybody who suffers what we call an anoxic brain injury, inadequate oxygen to the brain can develop long term disability from that. But, having said that, there are — there is an opportunity obviously for recovery and even this evening there has been some glimmer of improvement in his neurologic exam, so we can only hope for the best at this point.”

Across the globe, Israel’s Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon has sustained a serious brain injury due to stroke, which had led to bleeding in his brain. At this point, it’s too early to determine what sort of outcome lies ahead for Mr. Sharon, but one thing is certain: one small brain injury has caused a tidal wave of disruption in Middle East politics.

We tend to think of catastrophic injuries such as TBI as isolated events, but these two stories illustrate how truly interdependent we are, and how our own world is in part shaped by the injuries that befall us. While horribly unfortunate, perhaps these two seemingly unrelated injuries will spark renewed fervor for TBI research and treatment.

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